America's Most (and Least) Livable States

America’s Least Livable States

10. Delaware
> Future livability score: 32.5
> Full-time employment: 17th best
> Job creation index: 17th worst
> Outlook on life in five years: 14th best

By many measures, Delaware residents are better off than many other Americans. The state has the 10th-highest median income in the United States, as well as the 11th-lowest percentage of families living below the poverty line. It is also one of just nine states where less than 10% of families have no health insurance. Yet, the state receives the 10th-worst future livability score from Gallup. For one, Mississippi is the only state where employees and managers have a worse relationship. In addition, nearly a third of state residents are obese, and the state scores in the bottom 15 in areas such as access to clean water, smoking and the frequency of dentist visits.

Also Read: The 11 States with the Highest Gas Prices

9. Ohio
> Future livability score: 32.7
> Full-time employment: 23rd worst
> Job creation index: 14th best
> Outlook on life in five years: 4th best

Ohioans are not particularly well off. Median household income in Ohio is almost $5,000 less than the national average, and 14.1% of households receive food stamps, 2.2 percentage points higher than the nationwide rate. Further, few states are as unhealthy as Ohio, which has the nation’s sixth-highest obesity rate and the seventh-highest smoking rate. Residents have mixed views on the economy, as the state has the 19th-lowest score in economic confidence but the 14th-highest score in job creation.

8. Louisiana
> Future livability score: 33.3
> Full-time employment: 24th best
> Job creation index: 21st worst
> Outlook on life in five years: 2nd best

Across almost every health measurement, the Bayou state is at the back of the pack. Louisiana ranks fourth worst for obesity and ease in finding clean water, ninth worst for smoking and seventh worst for regular visits to the dentist and ease in finding a safe place to exercise. The state also has the 11th-lowest rate of population insured. Not only are Louisianians some of the most unhealthy Americans, they are also some of the poorest, with 18.2% of residents living below the poverty line and 15.3% on food stamps — the sixth- and eighth-highest percentages in the country, respectively. Not surprising, residents also have the lowest confidence in their state’s economy of all the states polled.

7. Alabama
> Future livability score: 33.5
> Full-time employment: 8th worst
> Job creation index: 23rd worst
> Outlook on life in five years: 6th best

Alabama is one of the poorest states in the country with a median income that is nearly $10,000 less than the national median of $50,046. The state’s economy has shown some positive signs, including one of the highest declines in unemployment in the country in the past 12 months. However, according to Gallup’s measures of future livability, Alabama is in poor shape. Despite the improvement in unemployment, the state still has the eighth-lowest rate of people employed full-time. It also has the 10th-highest obesity and smoking rates in the country.

Also Read: The Top Ten Consumer Complaints

6. Florida
> Future livability score: 33.9 (tied for 5th worst)
> Full-time employment: 3rd worst
> Job creation index: 13th worst
> Outlook on life in five years: 12th best

Even though Florida’s unemployment rate fell 2.1 percentage points, from 10.7% to 8.6%, residents still give the economy poor reviews. According to Gallup, the state has the 17th-worst economic confidence score, as well as the 13th-worst score in job creation. Floridians also are less likely than residents in most other states to claim that their standard of living is improving or that the areas where they live are improving. Home prices in Florida have declined by 48.4% between the first quarters of 2007 and the first quarter of 2012, according to Fiserv, while 21% of the population is without health insurance.

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